Climate change is caused by excessive pollution of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, which are often the biproduct of human industry. These gases blanket the atmosphere and trap heat inside. In the Hudson Valley, we are faced with warmer winters, earlier springs and decreased snow cover that can threaten biodiversity and crops. We are experiencing record temperatures more frequently throughout the year. More intense storms and precipitation events are leading to flooding that cause erosion, damage infrastructure and re-route streams or rivers. These factors will continue to accelerate in the future.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that since 1970, New York’s average annual temperatures have risen nearly 2°F, and winter temperatures have risen nearly 5°F. Although gradual temperature changes have been a natural part of the earth’s history, the recent human-caused change is far too rapid for many plants and animals to adapt to.
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